Official Statement on the Whorlton Hall scandal from the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK

  • Dr Dougal Julian Hare

  • June 2019

In response to the latest example of maltreatment and abuse of people with autism and learning disabilities (intellectual disabilities) at Whorlton Hall, the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK strongly condemns this appalling treatment. We call for an immediate increase in investment in not just staff training for those working with such vulnerable people, but also in psychological and emotional support for both. Lamentably, staff are usually unqualified, low paid and often working without adequate or appropriate supervision in such institutions. In the longer-term, ACP-UK calls for an end to institutional provision for this population and for increased investment in community-based services and resources. In parallel, ACP-UK urges that all people labelled as having autism and learning disabilities [intellectual disabilities] should have access to individual support from clinical psychologists to enable them to live independent and fulfilling lives as part of the wider community. Clinical psychologists have broad training in evidence-based, holistic and compassionate approaches to improve the condition and quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and autism and are well-placed to lead multi-disciplinary teams in this specialty.

Dr Dougal Julian Hare
Interim Lead for ACP-UK Intellectual Disabilities Member Network